Like it or not, customer experience begins with the first click to one of your digital properties. A story begins in the mind of your website visitors, Facebook fans, Twitter followers and blog subscribers and it’s crucial to actively participate in that narrative in a meaningful way. You’ll never control everything but if you can position yourself within the prospect’s story (where they are always the protagonist) then you have a shot. A solid content strategy to improve customer experience will guarantee you hit the target.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of bad customer experience. For a lot of us, it’s a common occurrence and it’s caused us to throttle back our expectations just so we aren’t smacked in the face again by the next bad experience. As a result, the bar is set pretty low for most people. I happen to think we can do better.
If the bar is set low, then there’s a real opportunity to surprise and delight potential customers. In a recent survey, nearly 90% of Internet users believe good customer experience makes them feel more positive about a seller. In order to surprise and delight, you must first look at the data on what makes customer service “good enough” to drive this result.
“All I Want Are My Questions Answered.”
81% of respondents replied that they are only looking to have their questions answered—which is clear evidence of the low bar one needs to reach for adequate customer service. Sadly, many companies aren’t even doing this…and that gives you an amazing opportunity.
Think about this: If your potential customer calls on the phone or sends an email with questions they need answered, would you reply? Then why wouldn’t you accommodate the customer who is communicating via the web? They aren’t interested yet in actually talking with you, they want to know more before they invest themselves further.
The simple content strategy to improve customer experience: Answer their freakin’ questions!
When asked why a recent positive experience with a company stood out, 46% responded that they felt their request was dealt with quickly. Another 30% said the company understood their issue and history.
A picture emerges here: Many customers seem to be looking for simplicity, directness and speed.
Let’s examine the content you’re creating now (if you’re not creating content then you really need to listen up). Review your blog posts and social media content and ask yourself….
Are we talking specifically about what the customer wants to talk about? Especially when they’re getting ready to buy?
I write a lot about content marketing and why you need it. I’ve often outlined the minimum 5 topics that the most successful companies include in their content strategy to improve customer experience:
- Cost/Price questions
- Problems/issues/concerns questions (“How to” falls in this category too)
- Vs/comparison questions (compare products and services both within your business and with competitors)
- “Best” questions (best and worst choices when purchasing)
- Review/opinion-based questions
This simple content strategy will put your business in the front position – both in search results and in the mind of your target customers.
This simple content strategy is a vital ingredient in your content marketing secret sauce recipe:
- Build an audience
- Figure out what they want to buy
- Integrate meaningful content
- Provide a positive experience
Many companies struggle to come up with meaningful content. When content is light, it means the company hasn’t thought about customers’ personal experiences nor have they positioned themselves within that story. Integrate customer needs, concerns and questions into content and you won’t have any trouble coming up with content.
Now, if you’re feeling enthusiastic about those possibilities, and want to surprise and delight even more, there are still more ways for you to stand out. By now you might be saying, “Oh that’s enough for now.” Hey, that’s cool, but let me show you more from the survey about what’s at stake:
After a positive customer service experience, 61% of respondents alert friends and family to the experience and 38% write a positive review. Pretty awesome results, right?
Only 15% of those surveyed said they would do nothing in response to a good experience, so it’s clear that positive customer service is important to consumers.
Surprise and delight = meet customer expectations head on…and exceed them
According to the study, customers can be driven away by perceived cheaper prices (27%), too many mistakes (21%) and rude, impolite or disinterested staff (19%). The rules of customer engagement have changed. Companies must be equipped to meet and exceed complex customer expectations.
- Forecast the needs of the customer—arm the organization with the right information, tools and processes to provide the speedy service that customers demand.
- Empower and educate employees—make the best use of your available resources, sales expertise and information. Engaged employees create high-quality content.
- Deliver an effortless experience—understand customers and use this knowledge to provide high-quality information (answer their questions!). When it’s time to buy, deliver the right level of personalized service every time.
- Make it easy to engage—give your customers the option to engage with you whenever and however they want. Modern sellers provide flexibility and meet the demands of a diverse customer base.
- Get personal and go the extra mile—51% like it when services and content are personalized to their interests. Memorable experiences pay off and are rewarded by brand champions who share their experiences.
Surprise and delight by investing in a content strategy to improve customer experience. Recognize customer needs before they do and equip employees with the tools they need to exceed complex customer expectations.
Above all, answer your customers’ questions. When 81% of consumers are telling you that’s what it takes to win their business, give them what they want.